How to Get a Job as a Measured Progress Test Scorer:

Get Into the Exciting World of High-Stakes Educational Assessment Testing

by Timothy Horrigan
Copyright © 2005-2008 Timothy Horrigan



Most of the information in this article is about working for Measured Progress, Inc.'s Dover, NH scoring center. Most of the openings at Measured Progress are temporary seasonal test-scoring openings although some real year-round jobs with benefits are available as well. The application procedures are more or less the same at the company's other scoring centers, with the exception of the Utah center, which is run by the Sento Corporation. In the last few years, new centers have been opened in the Denver and Louisville areas. There is also some info about similar jobs at other companies.



Monster Horoscope  

Other Info:



 Sometime in mid-March 2008, Measured Progress made some changes to their "Self Service Web Site" which have broken some of the links in this web page. The "Self Service" functionality is not new, but the way it is implemented has changed significantly. It means, amongst other things, I cannot deep-link reliably to the listings .

The job listings exist (no surprise!) in a database, and the web calls used to use simple filters on the req. no (which seems to be the primary key for the job listing table) to show single listings. If you wanted to see a whole category, it would filter on the category's label(s). For example, the URL for the day-shift test scoring opportunities used to be:

And the URL for "Current" openings used to be:

The URLs for category calls are now mostly hidden from view, and each job's listing's URL now has a rather long hash code as the argument. Job listings used to persist in the publicly available database even after the openings were filled (or merely delisted), if you knew the key, you could still look at them and even apply to them. (Applying to a job which isn't open is kinda futile— but hey! it's usually futile even when the job is open, since most applicants end up being ignored.) Old listings are now inaccessible (unless of course no one gets around to marking the listing as having been filled.)

You can still access a list of current jobs by clicking on a link labelled "All Current Positions" on their "Careers" page:

If you are looking for temp jobs in particular (which is the main thrust of this article), you do not want to work directly for the company if you are eligible to work though a temp agency, which will be explained below. If you apply for any direct-hire job at Measured Progress, however— even if (as is almost always the case) no one ever talks to you about the application— you (normally) become ineligible to work through a temp agency.

And, sometime around April 15, 2008, Measured Progress announced a somewhat larger change: from now on, Test Readers will be recruited only through Kelly Services. It is unclear what happens to job seekers who previously were ineligible to work though Kelly (because in the past they had worked directly— or merely applied directly to— Measured Progress. (Logic tells me that these folks are probably just plain out of luck, but it is conceivable that they might be allowed to work though Kelly. No harm in applying to Kelly, if this applies to you.)

I will leave up the section about applying directly on this page. As well as the section about applying through a temp agency. One of Kelly's competitors, Bonney Staffing, was still advertising these positions as recently as July 2008— but maybe they were slow to take the listings down.

Here is the official info from Measured Progress:


Temporary Readers

Measured Progress conducts scoring projects on a temporary basis at different times throughout the year (with greater concentrations of work scheduled in the spring and summer months.) Readers evaluate open responses included in statewide and other educational assessment programs, and Senior Readers and Quality Assurance Coordinators assist with the supervision of the work.

Measured Progress is working with Kelly Services to fill these (and other) temporary positions at the following scoring locations. Those interested in learning more about these positions and being considered may apply online on the Kelly Services Web site at http://www.kellyservices.us/web/us/services/en/pages, or may contact the local Kelly Services branch directly via the following:





(I would be delighted if you applied to Kelly through monster.com and/or through their island on the Second Life virtual world.)




Monster Horoscope  





Kelly Services is now on Second Life! Click here to learn more!


Working at the Dover Scoring Center

You may be in the same situation that I am in at the moment (Spring 2008): living in the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire, without a permanent job, and scraping by with occasional temp gigs. One of the more unusual temporary jobs in this area is scoring educational assessment tests for Measured Progress, Inc.

I recently wrote an essay about my test scoring experience. (Click here to read it.) My article is not 100% complimentary, so it probably won't help my chances of coming back. Even though I have some criticisms, I actually enjoyed many aspects of the job, and I would be willing to return. Also, since I last worked there, the company has hired a new boss for the scoring operation, and several lower-ranking supervisors have apparently quit, retired and/or have been terminated.

I worked at the old downtown Dover, NH test scoring facility during the winter and spring of 2002, at the Portsmouth, NH logistics center in the fall of 2002, and then again at the downtown Dover facility in the winter, spring, and summer of 2003. I have been passed over for a number of projects since then. This probably includes the Winter 2007 projects.) Since then, the scoring center has been moved to a new facility on the outskirts of town, and the logistics center moved twice — first to the new Dover campus and more recently to a former Cabletron building a few miles to the north in Rochester.

To be a test scorer, you need at least 48 hours of college credits. Most scorers have a lot more than that. To qualify for a given subject area, you need to have related college-level courses (though in some cases work or teaching experience can be substituted.) You actually won't be grading any college-level material: the tests don't have any questions on material above the students' grade levels, and the kids are all Grade 11 or below (as far down as Grade 3 in some cases.) Sometimes, the subject matter is only tenuously related to the college courses which qualify you to grade the test. For example, I qualified for Health thanks to a couple of college biology courses (as well as work experience with a public-health organization.) But, there was no biology and no public health on the tests, which were all about refusing candy from strangers, saying No to sex and drugs, not giving out your real name to your chatroom buddies, etc.

Until April 2008, you could apply directly to the company. Since then, you can only apply through Kelly Services (or possibly other temp agencies.) In either case, in addition to submitting the usual resume, you will have to submit copies of your college transcript(s).

You can send in the resume immediately and your transcript(s) later, but the HR Department will actually look at your academic record. Like other employers, they don't give a hoot how high your grades were, but they do care what courses you took.

The standard pay rate is currently $10.75/hour with no benefits. It was recently raised from $10.50/hour. I am sure management has had to make major adjustments in other areas to make it possible to raise the pay by more than 2%. Even before the recent raise, the hourly rate was so high as to be alarmingly close to a basic living wage rate. The state of New Hampshire officially estimates that the living wage for a single worker for no children is $11.07/hour  and only two-third of all jobs in the state pay more than that. Obviously, Measured Progress is facing a crisis situation as it tries to cope with the local labor market. There are some extenuating circumstances: the test scoring jobs are part-time no-benefits positions, Dover is a relatively expensive part of the state to live in, families with children have a much higher living wage rate, and private groups estimate that the living wage rate is closer to $14/hr. Nevertheless, Measured Progress clearly faces a huge problem here. Yes, the company wants to hire good people to score the tests— but it certainly doesn't want to go to the extreme of paying those test scorers anything approaching a living wage.





Monster Horoscope  




Through a Temp Agency?

Working through a temp agency is probably better than working directly for Measured Progress. The most obvious reason is that you have a small but finite chance of eventually qualifying for benefits. You need to log a very large number of hours to qualify, more than you could get from just the test-scoring gig, but some of my ex-colleagues actually succeeded in qualifying. A less obvious reason is that your contact person at the temp agency can serve a mentoring function which no one in your Measured Progress chain of command will help you with. (Your immediate supervisor is likely to be a temp like yourself who knows only a little more than you do about what's really going on with the company as a whole. And there's almost always going to be at least one more additional layers of temporaries between your supervisor and the permanent staff. Your temp-agency contact person, on the other hand, knows what's going on, knows who to talk to when someone needs to be talked to, and can be quite helpful.) There are many temp agencies in the Seacoast Region, so many I wonder how any of them makes enough money to stay in business.

However you apply, bear in mind that you must have your college transcripts handy. An unofficial copy will do.

Sometime around April 15, 2008, Measured Progress announced a significant change: from now on, Test Readers will be recruited only through Kelly Services. (I would be delighted if you applied to Kelly through monster.com and/or through their island on the Second Life virtual world.) Kelly is also recruiting Quality Assurance Coordinators and Senior Readers, though Measured Progress also still hires directly for those jobs . This seems to be a positive change for the temps, which makes me wonder why the heck Measured Progress did it. I will try to find out what's up with this.

Kelly's two Seacoast area offices are:

Here are several other local temp agencies which Measured Progress has used in the past:



Monster Horoscope  




Kelly Services is now on Second Life! Click here to learn more!



Directly for Measured Progress?



 Sometime in mid-March 2008, Measured Progress made some changes to their "Self Service Web Site" which have broken some of the links in this web page. The "Self Service" functionality is not new, but the way it is implemented has changed significantly.

You can still access a list of current jobs by clicking on a link labelled " All Current Positions" on their "Careers" page:

If you are looking for temp jobs in particular (which is the main thrust of this article), you do not want to work directly for the company if you are eligible to work though a temp agency, as explained above. If you apply for any direct-hire job at Measured Progress, even if (as is almost always the case) no one ever talks to you about the application, you become ineligible to work through a temp agency, however. Unless this policy was changed, of course: sometime around April 15, 2008 Measured Progress announced that from now on, Test Readers will be recruited only through Kelly Services. It is unclear what happens to job seekers who previously were ineligible to work though Kelly (because in the past they had worked directly— or merely applied directly to— Measured Progress.) You have nothing to lose by applying to Kelly, if this applies to you.

I would be delighted if you applied to Kelly through monster.com and/or through their island on the Second Life virtual world.



If you want to apply to the company directly, you are supposed to apply via the employment application form on the web site (as discussed above.)

If you feel the need to bypass the web form, or if you just want to know this information, the mailing address, etc. is:

Human Resources
Measured Progress, Inc.
P.O. Box 1217
Dover, NH 03821
fax: 603-749-6398
ph: 603-749-9102
email: HR@MeasuredProgress.ORG


Measured Progress uses several different internet job boards, and one of the HR people even appeared on local radio ads for JobsInNH.com. Two national job boards they have been known to use are Yahoo! HotJobs and Monster.com .

The line manager in charge of the whole operation is Dr. Elizabeth Edwards (no relation to the First Lady candidate), and her title is Assistant Vice President, Testing and Professional Development Services. The scoring services director is Dino Anzures. The HR director's name is Candace McCloy (whose name is on the canned replies to employment web-form applications.)

For a past decade or so, the Dover, NH scoring center was situated on the first floor of One Washington Street in downtown Dover, NH. The site is accessible by public transportation. In fact a bus line stops literally at the front door. In the winter of 2005, the scoring center relocated to a new facility on the outskirts of Dover in an industrial park.

To the best of my knowledge, there are at least half a dozen other locations where scoring takes place or at least has recently taken place. Measured Progress has long operated a large scoring center in Albany, NY. A even larger center was started up in the Denver area in the fall of 2005. A new combination distribution and scoring facility in Louisville, Kentucky went online in the winter of 2007. Another new center in Phoenix was announced a while back but never opened, though some personnel recruitment did take place.

Until a competitor got the Illinois contract, Measured Progress had scoring facilities in north suburban Chicago and in Bloomington, Illinois. These were created primarily to score Special Ed portfolios but some regular scoring took place at these facilities. The tiny Gorham, Maine (suburban Portland) center only scored Maine tests, and it did not even score all the Maine tests, and it seems to have gone out of existence. It was supposedly created to minimally fulfill a contract stipulation stating that there would be a scoring center in Maine. The American Fork, Utah center is (or was) run by the Sento Corporation (which also operates tech-support call centers.)

Finally, Measured Progress has a logistics/distribution facility in Rochester, NH.



Monster Horoscope  



Guide to the Employment Opportunities page



 Sometime in mid-March 2008, Measured Progress made some changes to their "Self Service Web Site" which have broken some of the links in this web page. The "Self Service" functionality is not new, but the way it is implemented has changed significantly.

The basic structure of the new form itself—, if and when you can actually get to it after wending your way through the Self Service site— is not much different from the old form. You can still access a list of current jobs by clicking on a link labelled "All Current Positions" on their "Careers" page:

If you are looking for temp jobs in particular (which is the main thrust of this article), you do not want to work directly for the company if you are eligible to work though a temp agency, as explained above. And anyway sometime around April 15, 2008 Measured Progress announced that from now on, Test Readers will be recruited only through Kelly Services. It is unclear what happens to job seekers who previously were ineligible to work though Kelly (because in the past they had worked directly— or merely applied directly to— Measured Progress. You have nothing to lose by applying to Kelly, if this applies to you. (I would be delighted if you applied to Kelly through monster.com and/or through their island on the Second Life virtual world.)



Ostensibly, all applications for jobs at Measured Progress must be made using a form on the web site (http://www.measuredprogress.org), after you find the appropriate opening in the list of job openings. Theoretically, you cannot use email, snail mail, or fax to send in your resume. But here is the complete contact info anyway:

Attn: Candace McCloy, Director of Human Resources
Measured Progress, Inc.
50 Education Way
Dover, NH 03820
fax: 603-749-6398
ph: 603-749-9102
email: HR@MeasuredProgress.ORG

You are expected to copy and paste your resume into the form as plain text only. (I do not know how the form handles smart quotes, etc.)

The form uses email addresses to uniquely identify applicants. It does keep track of your past applications. Until recently, you had to fill in all the info on the form all over again each time you apply, but this has changed.

Current openings are divided into five categories, although you can also simply search for "All Current Positions":

  1. Educational Services (i.e, program managers, test developers, etc.)

  2. General Administration (i.e., administrative asssistants, HR generalists, warehouse personnel, etc.)

  3. Information Technology (i.e., data processors, programmers, etc.)

  4. Statistical Measurement Services (i.e., psychometricians, report programmers, etc.)

  5. Graphics and Publishing


The five categories are pretty self-explanatory.

There are very few real jobs (i.e., permanent appointments with benefits) at the test scoring centers. However, occasionally the company is forced to create such jobs. The first place to look for them would be "Educational Services."


For more info:

  Yahoo! Hot Jobs 


Guide to the application form

This is a fairly simple form, apparently developed inhouse. Until the form was revised in June 2006, you couldn't upload a formatted version of your resume. However, since then it has been possible to upload a file. The button is near the bottom of the page: it turns up in different places depending on which browser and which platform you use. You still have to do a plain-text cut and paste in addition to (or, alternatively, instead of) uploading the file. I do not know how well the form handles smart quotes and other "special" characters. (Cutting and pasting HTML code doesn't seem to work, by the way.)

One cool thing about this form is that it is not very time-consuming. On the first page you enter your contact info, your resume text, and your cover letter. The layout is a little confusing, but not horrendously so.

On the second page, you enter your two most recent "educational accomplishments" (i.e., the last two schools you attended.) And then you can submit your application and wait (and— most likely— wait and wait and wait) to be called in for an interview.

Here is where to apply:

Oh yeah, one last thought: you actually might be better off applying through a temp agency (as explained above.)



Monster Horoscope  




Denver (& possibly Phoenix) Scoring Centers

  In the fall of 2005, Measured Progress opened a new scoring center in Denver (actually in Aurora, which is an inner suburb, just to the east of downtown Denver.) After just a few months, they announced plans to move to a remote exurban location about halfway up the road to Wyoming, just outside Longmont. The new center went online in the spring of 2006. The exact address is 2950 Colorful Avenue in Longmont, Colorado.

Before Measured Progress opened the Aurora center, they did some recruiting for a facility (never opened) in the Boulder area. And, a few years ago they had a small office in Broomfield, Colorado, which is not far from Boulder and Longmont.

At some point in 2005, they also seemed to be making plans to open a center in Phoenix: they were definitely recruiting personnel in Phoenix, although it appears that no one was ever hired.

  Although the company tries to minimize the number of full-time jobs at its scoring centers, they are occasionally are forced to create pemanent jobs. There have been at least two listings for Associate Chief Readers in Longmont. The two (or possibly more) Associate Chief Readers will be expected to look after several hundred temps. Kelly Services is doing all the recruiting of Test Readers in Colorado. (Click here for some more info about applying through Kelly.) Kelly Services has been running monster.com listings and local newspaper ads for scoring projects in Longmont.


Kelly Services is now on Second Life! Click here to learn more!


Monster Horoscope  


Louisville, Kentucky Scoring Center

Extra!  In the spring of 2007, Measured Progress opened a new scoring and distribution center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Its main purpose is to score Kentucky tests. Measured Progress has had the Kentucky testing franchise in the past, and when the contract went up for bid again before 2006, it included a stipulation that the tests be scored and distributed instate. (Ironically, New Hampshire's contract lacks any such stipulation and in fact much of the New Hampshire scoring is done out of state.)

Measured Progress won the contract, and this turned out to be a rather controversial victory. (See, for example, a March 15, 2007 Louisville Courier-Journal article.) A previous incarnation of Measured Progress, Advanced Systems for Measurement and Evaluation, had the contract in the mid-1990s and lost it in 1998 under very unfavorable circumstances. In 2006, the state Department of Education chose Measured Progress only after hiring a small consulting organization to evaluate vendors: this consultancy had the rather long name of "The Center for Assessment: The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Inc." Measured Progress was the vendor who finally got recommended by the Center for Assessment after a lengthy evaluation process. The Center for Assessment just happens to have very close ties to Measured Progress: in fact, the Center for Assessment's small office space in downtown Dover, NH is located right next to Measured Progress's old scoring facility where I used to work. (I am pretty sure the Center used to sublease this space from Measured Progress.)

In any case, the new scoring center's location is 4500 Commerce Crossings, on the south side of town. This will be Measured Progress's second-largest satellite scoring center, after the one outside Denver.

Hiring is being done though Kelly Services . The pay is $11.00 with no benefits. You need to show your college transcripts to the recruiter.


Kelly Services is now on Second Life! Click here to learn more!



The Utah Scoring Center

Sento Corporation frequently hired test scorers in the past at their American Fork, UT test center, although most (perhaps all) of their test-scoring work has now been lost to the new Denver center.

You can email your resume as a file attachment or as text to careers@sento.com.

Interestingly, an earlier version of their HR recruitment page stated:

"How do you manage turnover in the support industry? You make sure that every agent is recognized every day. With comprehensive reports, each agent knows exactly how they are doing in their position. Results? Each person can feel good about his/her job."

I suspect that Sento's statement is exaggerated (especially considering the occasional hits this page gets from keyword searches such as "Sento Sucks"), but it still delineates a cultural divide between Sento and Measured Progress. At Measured Progress, test scorers are never given performance reports and are told as little as possible about how well they are doing.




Monster Horoscope  






What If You Actually Get a Job?

Congratulations! Someone's gotta say it, so if no one is gonna, I will. Congratulations!

Like any job, your job will have its good points and its bad points. (I have mostly told you about the latter.)


Scoring the Massachusetts and Illinois Special-Ed Portfolios

 The info which used to be here about scoring MCAS-Alt and the IAA portfolios has been moved to its own page:

http://www.TimothyHorrigan.com/tempjob_measuredprogress.sped.html


Other Testing Companies

You probably will not run into the obnoxious Unicru personality test while applying to educational testing jobs. You certainly will not run into it at Measured Progress. But just in case you do run into that test or a similar test, you will need the Unicru answer key which I have posted elsewhere on my website.

This is by not necessarily an exhaustive list of other educational testing companies.



Monster Horoscope  


         


Students and Teachers save up to 75% on software



The Forgotten Liars






Home

The Forgotten Liars

Other Works

Random Stuff

Obama!

Contact Info


Email